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The Pulp Magazine Archive

Pulp magazines (often referred to as "the pulps"), also collectively known as pulp fiction, refers to inexpensive fiction magazines published from 1896 through the 1950s. The typical pulp magazine was seven inches wide by ten inches high, half an inch thick, and 128 pages long. Pulps were printed on cheap paper with ragged, untrimmed edges.

The name pulp comes from the cheap wood pulp paper on which the magazines were printed. Magazines printed on better paper were called "glossies" or "slicks." In their first decades, they were most often priced at ten cents per magazine, while competing slicks were 25 cents apiece. Pulps were the successor to the penny dreadfuls, dime novels, and short fiction magazines of the 19th century. Although many respected writers wrote for pulps, the magazines are best remembered for their lurid and exploitative stories and sensational cover art. Modern superhero comic books are sometimes considered descendants of "hero pulps"; pulp magazines often featured illustrated novel-length stories of heroic characters, such as The Shadow, Doc Savage, and The Phantom Detective.

The first "pulp" was Frank Munsey's revamped Argosy Magazine of 1896, about 135,000 words (192 pages) per issue on pulp paper with untrimmed edges and no illustrations, not even on the cover. While the steam-powered printing press had been in widespread use for some time, enabling the boom in dime novels, prior to Munsey, no one had combined cheap printing, cheap paper and cheap authors in a package that provided affordable entertainment to working-class people. In six years Argosy went from a few thousand copies per month to over half a million.

Street & Smith were next on the market. A dime novel and boys' weekly publisher, they saw Argosy's success, and in 1903 launched The Popular Magazine, billed as the "biggest magazine in the world" by virtue of being two pages longer than Argosy. Due to differences in page layout, the magazine had substantially less text than Argosy. The Popular Magazine introduced color covers to pulp publishing. The magazine began to take off when, in 1905, the publishers acquired the rights to serialize Ayesha, by H. Rider Haggard, a sequel to his popular novel She. Haggard's Lost World genre influenced several key pulp writers, including Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Talbot Mundy and Abraham Merritt. In 1907, the cover price rose to 15 cents and 30 pages were added to each issue; along with establishing a stable of authors for each magazine, this change proved successful and circulation began to approach that of Argosy. Street and Smith's next innovation was the introduction of specialized genre pulps, each magazine focusing on a genre such as detective stories, romance, etc.

At their peak of popularity in the 1920s and 1930s, the most successful pulps could sell up to one million copies per issue. The most successful pulp magazines were Argosy, Adventure, Blue Book and Short Stories described by some pulp historians as "The Big Four". Among the best-known other titles of this period were Amazing Stories, Black Mask, Dime Detective, Flying Aces, Horror Stories, Love Story Magazine, Marvel Tales, Oriental Stories, Planet Stories, Spicy Detective, Startling Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Unknown, Weird Tales and Western Story Magazine. Although pulp magazines were primarily a US phenomenon, there were also a number of British pulp magazines published between the Edwardian era and World War Two. Notable UK pulps included Pall Mall Magazine, The Novel Magazine, Cassell's Magazine, The Story-Teller, The Sovereign Magazine, Hutchinson's Adventure-Story and Hutchinson's Mystery-Story. The German fantasy magazine Der Orchideengarten had a similar format to American pulp magazines, in that it was printed on rough pulp paper and heavily illustrated.

The Second World War paper shortages had a serious impact on pulp production, starting a steady rise in costs and the decline of the pulps. Beginning with Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in 1941, pulp magazines began to switch to digest size; smaller, thicker magazines. In 1949, Street & Smith closed most of their pulp magazines in order to move upmarket and produce slicks.[8] The pulp format declined from rising expenses, but even more due to the heavy competition from comic books, television, and the paperback novel. In a more affluent post-war America, the price gap compared to slick magazines was far less significant. In the 1950s, Men's adventure magazines began to replace the pulp.

The 1957 liquidation of the American News Company, then the primary distributor of pulp magazines, has sometimes been taken as marking the end of the "pulp era"; by that date, many of the famous pulps of the previous generation, including Black Mask, The Shadow, Doc Savage, and Weird Tales, were defunct. Almost all of the few remaining pulp magazines are science fiction or mystery magazines now in formats similar to "digest size", such as Analog Science Fiction and Fact and Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. The format is still in use for some lengthy serials, like the German science fiction weekly Perry Rhodan.

Over the course of their evolution, there were a huge number of pulp magazine titles; Harry Steeger of Popular Publications claimed that his company alone had published over 300, and at their peak they were publishing 42 titles per month. Many titles of course survived only briefly. While the most popular titles were monthly, many were bimonthly and some were quarterly. The collapse of the pulp industry changed the landscape of publishing because pulps were the single largest sales outlet for short stories. Combined with the decrease in slick magazine fiction markets, writers attempting to support themselves by creating fiction switched to novels and book-length anthologies of shorter pieces.

Pulp covers were printed in color on higher-quality (slick) paper. They were famous for their half-dressed damsels in distress, usually awaiting a rescuing hero. Cover art played a major part in the marketing of pulp magazines. The early pulp magazines could boast covers by some distinguished American artists; The Popular Magazine had covers by N.C. Wyeth, and Edgar Franklin Wittmack contributed cover art to Argosy and Short Stories. Later, many artists specialized in creating covers mainly for the pulps; a number of the most successful cover artists became as popular as the authors featured on the interior pages. Among the most famous pulp artists were Walter Baumhofer, Earle K. Bergey, Margaret Brundage, Edd Cartier, Virgil Finlay, Earl Mayan, Frank R. Paul, Norman Saunders, Nick Eggenhofer, (who specialized in Western illustrations), Rudolph Belarski and Sidney Riesenberg. Covers were important enough to sales that sometimes they would be designed first; authors would then be shown the cover art and asked to write a story to match.

Later pulps began to feature interior illustrations, depicting elements of the stories. The drawings were printed in black ink on the same cream-colored paper used for the text, and had to use specific techniques to avoid blotting on the coarse texture of the cheap pulp. Thus, fine lines and heavy detail were usually not an option. Shading was by crosshatching or pointillism, and even that had to be limited and coarse. Usually the art was black lines on the paper's background, but Finlay and a few others did some work that was primarily white lines against large dark areas.

Another way pulps kept costs down was by paying authors less than other markets; thus many eminent authors started out in the pulps before they were successful enough to sell to better-paying markets, and similarly, well-known authors whose careers were slumping or who wanted a few quick dollars could bolster their income with sales to pulps. Additionally, some of the earlier pulps solicited stories from amateurs who were quite happy to see their words in print and could thus be paid token amounts. There were also career pulp writers, capable of turning out huge amounts of prose on a steady basis, often with the aid of dictation to stenographers, machines or typists. Before he became a novelist, Upton Sinclair was turning out at least 8,000 words per day seven days a week for the pulps, keeping two stenographers fully employed. Pulps would often have their authors use multiple pen names so that they could use multiple stories by the same person in one issue, or use a given author's stories in three or more successive issues, while still appearing to have varied content. One advantage pulps provided to authors was that they paid upon acceptance for material instead of on publication; since a story might be accepted months or even years before publication, to a working writer this was a crucial difference in cash flow.

Some pulp editors became known for cultivating good fiction and interesting features in their magazines. Preeminent pulp magazine editors included Arthur Sullivant Hoffman (Adventure), Robert H. Davis (All-Story Weekly), Harry E. Maule (Short Stories) Donald Kennicott (Blue Book), Joseph T. Shaw (Black Mask), Farnsworth Wright (Weird Tales, Oriental Stories), John W. Campbell (Astounding Science Fiction,Unknown) and Daisy Bacon (Love Story Magazine, Detective Story Magazine).

Description of this collection from Wikipedia.

Many issues of this collection come from a variety of anonymous contributors, as well as sites such as The Pulp Magazines Project and ThePulp.net.

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2018
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1969
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1968
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1967
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1966
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pulp
487
science fiction
409
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young man
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the french reader
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The Pulp Magazine Archive
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CONTENTS: .44 Western Magazine [v15 #4, October 1946] (Popular Publications, Inc., 15¢, 130pp, pulp, cover by Sam Cherry) A Hundred Wagons, Rolling To Hell! · Tom Roan · ss Range-To-Railhead Lifeline · Jared Kingsley · ss Indian Creek’s Blood-Bonanza · Lee E. Wells · ss Written In Hot Lead! · Joseph Chadwick · ss Bullets Ride The River · Harry Van Demark · ss The Gun-Wolves Ride Tonight! · James Shaffer · ss Little Bill, Feud-Buster · Marvin J. Jones · ss Pony Bob Carries The...
Topics: Pulp, Pulp Magazine, Western Pulp, Western Stories, Tom Roan, Joseph Chadwick, Ed Earl Repp, Lee E....
The Pulp Magazine Archive
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eye 481
favorite 2
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10 Story Book Vol. 21, No. 5. April 1922 Publisher: 10 Story Book Corp., Chicago, IL
Topics: Pulp, Short Story, Fiction, Laurel Elizabeth Small, Franklin Lee Stevenson, L. M. Hussey, Earnest...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
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favorite 2
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10 Story Book Vol. 20, No. 13. December 1921 Publisher: 10 Story Book Corp., Chicago, IL
Topics: Pulp, Short Story, Fiction, Harold Ward, W. P. Barron, J. R. Ward, H. Allan Perrill, Carl Glick,...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 491
favorite 2
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10 Story Book Vol. 21, No. 3. February 1922 Publisher: 10 Story Book Corp., Chicago, IL
Topics: Pulp, Short Story, Fiction, J. Frederick Thorne, Ethel Green, W. Karl Hilbrich, Lillian Montgomery...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
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favorite 2
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10 Story Book Vol. 21, No. 4. January 1922 Publisher: 10 Story Book Corp., Chicago, IL
Topics: Pulp, Short Story, Fiction, Harry Stephen Keeler, Robert McBlair, William E. Williams, Lewis H....
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 477
favorite 3
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10 Story Book Vol. 21, No. 4. March 1922 Publisher: 10 Story Book Corp., Chicago, IL
Topics: Pulp, Short Story, Fiction, Leon D. Dean, Harry Stephen Keeler, Ray St. Vrain, Carlton Beals.
The Pulp Magazine Archive
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10 Story Book Vol. 21, No. 6. May 1922 Publisher: 10 Story Book Corp., Chicago, IL
Topics: Pulp, Short Story, Fiction, Lawrence Riley, Harry Stephen Keeler
The Pulp Magazine Archive
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10 Story Book Vol. 20, No. 12. November 1921 Publisher: 10 Story Book Corp., Chicago, IL
Topics: Pulp, Short Story, Fiction, John Ward Clinton, Ethel Summers, Edwin Heimbach, William M. Conselman,...
10 Story Fantasy v01n01 (1951 Spring) (Tawrast EXciter)
CONTENTS: Ten Story Mystery (UK) [#1, (1948?)] (Pemberton’s (of Manchester), Ltd., 1/-, 64pp, pulp) Partial reprint of the April 1942 (US) issue with seven of the nine stories. 2 · They Knew Dolly · Russell Gray · nv 10 Story Mystery Magazine April 1942 13 · The Beggars On Horseback · Curt Benson · nv 10 Story Mystery Magazine April 1942 28 · Stand In · B. B. Fowler · ss 10 Story Mystery Magazine April 1942 30 · Now I Lay Me Down To Die · Donald G. Cormack · nv 10 Story Mystery...
Topics: Pulps, Pulp Magazines, Mystery, Detective, Stewart Sterling, G. T. Fleming-Roberts
Topics: tott, arbo, davy, bristow, eyes, mohawk, trail, yorey, western magazine, yuh, davy mather,...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
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Pulp Fiction magazine
Topic: Pulp Fiction
CONTENTS: 2-Gun Western [v2 #5, November 1955] ed. Robert O. Erisman (Stadium Publishing Corporation, 25¢, 97pp, pulp) 4 · The Wild Time · John Lumsden · ss 12 · “Thou Shalt Not Kill...” · Ellis Sloan · ss 18 · As Fast As They Came · Harry Harrison Kroll · ss 24 · Sam Colt’s Killer · Gil Paust · ss 28 · Noon Tomorrow · Philip Morgan · ss 34 · Final Curtain · L. V. Pidgeon · ss 40 · Dead Man’s Hand · Dick Baird · ss 45 · Last Card · Clayton Fox · ss 53 · Rotten...
Topics: Pulp, Pulp Magazine, Western Pulp, Harry Harrison Kroll, Noel M. Loomis, D. B. Newton, L. P....
The Pulp Magazine Archive
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Topics: webb, varing, caleb, grinnell, dorn, jack, donnelly, barney, long sam, gait, dave gait, dick...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
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14 – William Corcoran - Blow, Desert Winds! (sl) 22 – W. Somerset Maugham – Appearance and Reality (ss) 26 – Hagar Wilde – Woman Overboard (nov) 34 – Mildred Cram – Thin Air (ss) 40 – Rex Beach – Bidou (ss) 46 – Barbara Aldrich – Chanel Copy (ss) 50 – Adela Rogert St. Johns – Out of the Frying Pan (ss) 56 – Lloyd C. Douglas – Green Light (sl) 62 – P.G. Wodehouse – Good-by to All Cats (ss) 66 – Dale Eunson – Autumn Idyl (ss) 70 – Philip Wylie – Lady...
Topics: Cosmopolitan, 1934, fiction, short stories
The Pulp Magazine Archive
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2AM v01n03 (1987 Spring)
The Pulp Magazine Archive
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2AM v02n01 (1987 Fall)
The Pulp Magazine Archive
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2AM v02n03 (1988 Spring)
The Pulp Magazine Archive
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2AM v05n03 (1992 Spring)
The Pulp Magazine Archive
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2AM v05n04 (1992 Fall)
The Pulp Magazine Archive
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3 D Monsters 01 (1964) (bones666 DREGS)
The Pulp Magazine Archive
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3 D Monsters v1n1 1964 {Fair}
The Pulp Magazine Archive
by John Picha, Grant Gardiner, Jack Philpott, Jose Cepeda, Anita Dime, N.R. Grabe, Rick “Paladin” Pratt, Russell Secord, John Taylor
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This sci-fi smorgasbord serves up 9 retro tales inspired by the pulp magazines of the 1920s - 1940s. It drops you into the deco chiseled cities of alternate Americana, airlifts you to exotic locales, then rockets you to the farthest reaches of yesterday’s tomorrows! Witness the otherworldly genesis of Wild Marjoram in a Chicagoland speakeasy as the violence of the all-female Killdeer Gang reaches vigilante-inspired fever pitch in "The Birth." Flying taxis fight for space over New...
Topics: pulp, epulp, dieselpunk, dieselpunks, noir, heroes, 1930s, 1940s, retro, decopunk, ray gun gothic,...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
by John D. MacDonald
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An early noir mystery by John D. MacDonald. I found no copyright renewals. As always do your own search. HER VENEER WAS BIG CITY ... But one look and you knew that Toni Rasette's instincts were straight out of the river shack she came from. I watched her as she toyed with the man, laughing, her tumbled hair like raw blue-black silk, her brown shoulders bare. Eyes deep-set, a girl with a gypsy took. So this was the girl I had risked my life to find. This was the girl who was going to lead me to...
Topics: pulp, mystery
A Decade of Fantasy and Science Fiction (1960) (ed. Robert P Mills)
The Pulp Magazine Archive
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A New Hearing for Film Sound
A Pictorial History of Horror Stories 200 Years of Spine Chilling Illustrations from the Pulp Magazines Peter Haining (1985, Treasure Press)
The Pulp Magazine Archive
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A Portrait of Werner Herzog
A Singing Blackbird, and Georgian Cinema
The Pulp Magazine Archive
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a taste of BILE 007
The Pulp Magazine Archive
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Topics: darrell, smoking, fantasy, eyes, priestess, goddess, sylvia, looked, merritts fantasy, smoking...
A. Merritt's Fantasy Magazine v01n01 (1949 12)
A. Merritt's Fantasy Magazine v01n01 (1949 12) (dtsg0318 Anon)
A. Merritt's Fantasy Magazine v01n02 (1950 02)
A. Merritt's Fantasy Magazine v01n02 (1950 02) (Gorgon776)
A. Merritt's Fantasy Magazine v01n03 (1950 04)
A. Merritt's Fantasy Magazine v01n03 (1950 04) (AK)
A. Merritt's Fantasy Magazine v01n04 (1950 07) AlexH cape1736)
A. Merritt's Fantasy Magazine v02n01 (1950 10)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #01v01n01 (1986 10)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #01v01n01 (1986 10) (SLiV)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #02v01n02 (1986 12)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #02v01n02 (1986 12) (Lenny Silv3r)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #03v01n03 (1987 02 03)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #03v01n03 (1987 02 03) (Lenny Silv3r)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #04v01n04 (1987 05 06)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #04v01n04 (1987 05 06) (Lenny Silv3r)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #05v01n05 (1987 07 08)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #05v01n05 (1987 07 08) (dtsg0318)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #06v01n06 (1987 09 10)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #07v02n01 (1987 11 12)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #07v02n01 (1987 11 12) (dtsg0318)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #08v02n02 (1988 01 02)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #08v02n02 (1988 01 02) (dtsg0318)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #09v02n03 (1988 03 04)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #09v02n03 (1988 03 04) (dtsg0318)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #10v02n04 (1988 05 06)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #10v02n04 (1988 05 06) (Lenny Silv3r)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #11v02n05 (1988 09 10)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #11v02n05 (1988 09 10) (Lenny Silv3r)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #12v02n06 (1988 11 12)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #12v02n06 (1988 11 12) (Lenny Silv3r)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #13v03n01 (1989 01 02)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #13v03n01 (1989 01 02) (Gorgon776)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #14v03n02 (1989 03 04)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #14v03n02 (1989 03 04) (Gorgon776)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #15v03n03 (1989 05 06)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #15v03n03 (1989 05 06) (Lenny Silv3r)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #16v03n04 (1989 07 08)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #16v03n04 (1989 07 08) (Lenny Silv3r)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #17v03n05 (1989 09 10)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #17v03n05 (1989 09 10) (Lenny Silv3r)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #18v03n06 (1989 11 12)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #18v03n06 (1989 11 12) (Lenny Silv3r)
Aboriginal Science Fiction #19v04n01 (1990 01 02)